Skip to comments.Alexander Anderson Jr. dies at 90; created TV cartoon characters Rocky, Bullwinkle and others
Posted on 10/26/2010 1:35:36 AM PDT by thecodont
Alexander Anderson Jr., a pioneer television cartoonist who created the landmark duo of Crusader Rabbit and Rags the Tiger and two of TV's most enduring characters, Rocky and Bullwinkle, has died. He was 90.
The nephew of Paul Terry, whose Terrytoons cartoons included "Mighty Mouse" and "Heckle and Jeckle," the Berkeley-born Anderson had apprenticed at his uncle's studio in New Rochelle, N.Y., as a young man before serving in World War II and returned to work there after the war.
Anderson then teamed up with his childhood friend and former UC Berkeley fraternity brother Jay Ward, who had gone into the real estate business, and they formed the Berkeley-based Television Arts Productions.
Anderson turned a separate garage-apartment building behind his family's Berkeley home into a cartoon studio, where they made their low-budget, limited-animation cartoons for television.
Anderson and Ward, according to the Chronicle story, pitched a half-hour package of cartoon characters they wanted to sell to NBC that included spunky Crusader Rabbit and his pal Rags the Tiger as well as Dudley Do-Right of the Mounties, Rocky the flying squirrel and his sidekick Bullwinkle the moose.
Of his creation of Rocky, Anderson told the Chronicle: "I had worked on Mighty Mouse, and he flew around. I didn't understand the mechanics of how a mouse flew or, for that matter, how Superman flew. But flying squirrels do fly, and that gave him the mantle of superness without having to stretch the truth."
Bullwinkle grew out of Anderson's appreciation that there's "something majestic" about moose: "They're macho, but they have a comic aspect, with that schnozzola of theirs. There are few creatures just begging to be caricatured."
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
Mr. Anderson did good work. I remember all the characters he created as they were a part of my childhood (okay, I’m that old). Considering the competition he faced from Disney and others, I think he did very well.
Rocky: “Gee...an unhappy ending!”
Bullwinkle”This must be one of those adult cartoons!”
Yeah, Jay Ward was a jerk for trying to steal those characters totally. He very nearly succeeded. It was very good of Mr. Ward’s widow and daughter to be honest about it.
Rocky: Gee...what kind of games can you play with girls?
Bullwinkle: This really is a children’s show, isn’t it?
Ooh! That Boris and Natasha were always up to no good! Didn’t Rocky and Bullwinkle come on with “The King Leonardo Show”? Along with Tooter and the Wizard joining in the fun? Which one did Odeo Cologney (I think he was the skunk) come on with - Leonardo? - And who was the character who was “loyal and true blue”?
A productive life. Kudos and RIP.
Could never happen today. Anderson got his start with “Crusader Rabbit”, and there are people who would be offended by “Crusader Rabbit” today.
And God forbid we should have a cartoon featuring Porky Pig.
That’s all, folks.
maybe they’ll grant stateahood to moosylvania now...
Don’t forget Mr. Peabody and The Wayback Machine. Or Fractured Fairytales.
Ah, wow. The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show was one of my favorite shows when I was little.
I had no way to appreciate the truly adult humor hidden inside those little Mr. Peabody clips, since I was so little. As an adult, I have concluded that the best children’s entertainment is that which has a surface story suitable for children, while also presenting a more sophisticated story for their parents. Very few cartoons rise to that level these days; most of them are just slush.
RIP Mr. Anderson
“Don’t think you’re so much SMARTER than the audience.”
I loved fractured fairy tales. What a series of great shows!
When I saved the picture for posterity, the GIF label had the characters names in the generic save box. This begs another trivia question. Did you really know the characters names? LOL
Gidney and Cloyd
What on earth would people find offensive about "Crusader Rabbit"?